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MSNBC Hardball - Transcript

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MSNBC Hardball - Transcript
Wednesday, July 27, 2005


MATTHEWS: Of course. Thank you. That was a tragedy. Thank you, NBC's Charles Hadlock.

Now to politics. Republican Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is in a tough reelection battle to the United States Senate and just authored a new book titled-these are fighting words-"It Takes a Family," not a village, "Conservatism and the Common Good."

"It Takes a Family," that sounds like "It Takes a Village." Are you going to war with Hillary? Are you the anti-Hillary?

SEN. RICK SANTORUM ®, PENNSYLVANIA: Well, I think I have lain out a world view that is different than hers, yes.

I think that someone needs to articulate what-what we believe in and what they believe in and lay it out for the people to decide what-you know, what point of view they want to...


MATTHEWS: Well, the great thing about you, Senator, is that you are clear. You are a conservative. Hillary is a liberal. What makes the difference really between you in your heart and her in her heart? What is the big difference?

SANTORUM: I would say it is top-down vs. bottom-up.

She sees, I think, the role of America as going forward with the experts from on high trying to sort of guide the country in the direction it wants...


MATTHEWS: Then she is on top.

SANTORUM: She is on top.

And I believe that it is bottom-up, that we need to have strong families, strong community organizations, and that America is a great country and will be a great country if we rebuild the family and strengthen the family to guide-to lead America.

MATTHEWS: Is she a big-government socialist?

SANTORUM: Look at her voting record. The answer to that is pretty clear. And she has got a lot of...

MATTHEWS: Well, what is your answer?

SANTORUM: The answer is yes. I mean, she's...


MATTHEWS: She's a big-government socialist?

SANTORUM: Well, socialist may be a little hard. But she's...


MATTHEWS: Well, it was my word. Is it yours?

SANTORUM: I would not use the term socialist. I would...


MATTHEWS: OK, what would you call her, big government...

SANTORUM: She is a liberal.

And she is someone who believes in big government. She is someone who believes in government by the experts, by the elite. I call them the village elders in the book.


SANTORUM: Who-who, whether it is educational establishment or academia or whether it's Hollywood and the media, whether it is the federal government, are there-folks who have tremendous influence and power on society as a whole who are trying to inculcate their values and their view of America and where we should go as a country vs. what I think is a more traditional approach, which says that, you know, we have values and virtues that have worked in this country for a long, long time.

And they talk about the importance of a man and a woman getting married and raising a family, talk about community organizations and having strong faith-based organizations at the local level and the importance of religion in people's lives. All of those things are antithetical to the view of the hard left.

MATTHEWS: How did you get where you are getting? A lot of people who watch this show are conservatives. We have moderates watching and some liberals. How did you get-you are about the same age as Hillary. You are about-you're bright. She is bright.

Why are you coming at this from the less government is better, more community stuff, and she is basically sort of an intellectual, health care programs at the federal level, educational policies at the federal level? How did she come at it from her liberal view and you-what changed you to it, birth, or was it when you were in high school?



MATTHEWS: She was a Goldwater girl, you know.


I would make the argument, I don't come at from really the hard right.

In fact, if-when you read the book, Chris...


MATTHEWS: Well, let me read you a part, since you are...


MATTHEWS: No, no. You have taunted me into reading the book, because this is what is causing the heat. And you're going to hear it again here:

"Many women have told me"-this is you talking.


MATTHEWS: "And surveys have shown that they find it easier, more-quote-professionally gratifying and certainly more socially affirming to work outside the home than to give up their careers to take care of their children. Think about that for a moment. What happened in America so that mothers and fathers who leave the children in the care of someone else or, worse yet, home alone after school between 3:00 and 6:00 in the afternoon, find themselves more affirmed by society?"

You took a lot of heat from this.


MATTHEWS: The head of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania, he's been blasting you. He says this is anti-feminist, anti-woman.

SANTORUM: It is not.

I mean, if you read-again, read the whole chapter, not just that one sentence. But it is not inconsistent with that sentence. And what I have said is that society should be as affirming to women who work and parents who work as they are to parents who stay at home and take care of their children. And that is not the case in America today. And if you don't believe that, talk to stay-at-home moms. Talk to stay-at-home dads.

MATTHEWS: What do they say?

SANTORUM: Well, they tell-they say that-I mean, I hear this all the time. They will be in a conversation with someone and they will say, oh, well, what do you do?


SANTORUM: All the questions, what do you do?

MATTHEWS: Is that true outside of...


SANTORUM: And the answer is, well, I am just a mom. And...

MATTHEWS: Is that true outside of Washington and New York and Chicago?

SANTORUM: It's true everywhere. I hear it everywhere.

And, again, have a bunch stay-at-home moms on the show and ask them whether they feel by society at large that the sacrifice they make in giving up their career and giving up their profession and staying home and doing the tough job of raising the next generation of America is something that they believe Americans generally and particularly the elite, the cultural elite, in our society affirm?

MATTHEWS: Why don't they accept the role of motherhood as a profession?

SANTORUM: Because I don't think they think the family, that that is necessarily important, that day care is good enough. There's people out there that can do this, and that it's a me-centered world. And that is, you should do what personally affirms you.

It's-I get into the discussion of how liberals and conservatives view freedom. And liberals view freedom, I believe, as a selfish freedom.


MATTHEWS: Why don't you stay home?

SANTORUM: Well, let me-well, hold on. Let...

MATTHEWS: Well, why don't-no, seriously, Senator. Why don't you stay home?

SANTORUM: You know what? We had a discussion very early on in our marriage. And we decided, OK, which one of us, because my wife is a professional person.


SANTORUM: And we had the discussions, which one wanted to stay home, which one would be better at staying home, and which one could better provide for the family and take-and we made the decision that Karen would stay home. That is what she wanted to do.

MATTHEWS: Do you think that is the normal conversation in American life? Or would it always be the woman who gets to stay home?

SANTORUM: I think it-well, no. I mean, I have some very good friends where the man stays home, very good friends where the man stays home and takes care of the children, because the woman is the higher wage earner. And, candidly, in some of those relationships, the man is the more nurturing of the two in the couple.

You know what? That is perfectly fine. What we need to do is understand that society needs to be there to affirm the importance of parents parenting and for some-and for children who need that parental guidance at home in a more active way than they're getting today.

MATTHEWS: OK, let me-let me-I am not a woman here, but let me try to give you what the other view might be and ask you to-you go to school. Women do as well as men in school.


MATTHEWS: They work as hard, right up through professional school, some of them. They get in some of the best schools and they kill themselves to get really good grades, so that they can make it in a profession.

Should they drop that at 25 or 23, just drop that and go home and not do that for 20 or 30 years? Is that healthy for them to do that, after all that promise?

SANTORUM: Well, I think that is a decision that a husband and wife should make.

MATTHEWS: But is it healthy?

SANTORUM: Is it healthy? I think it depends on the individual circumstance. All I'm suggesting is, is, whatever that decision is made, that women who decide to make the decision to make that sacrifice or men who make that decision to sacrifice should be affirmed by society, A.

And, B, government should be on the side of helping that decision.


SANTORUM: And I talk about that, 50 years ago, the average American family paid 2 percent of their income into the federal government in taxes. Today, they pay 27 percent to the federal government in taxes.


SANTORUM: And the second earner in the family in America, the average American family makes 25 percent of the first. In other words, that second earner simply is making the money that the federal government now takes away from that family and is required to be in the workplace just to make ends meet of what a couple 50 years ago had to do.

We have-there's a lot of things we can do from a public policy point of view and from a cultural point of view to be more helpful to families, to make these choices easier on moms and dads.



But the federal government is doing a lot of heavy lifting that costs a lot of money, like this war in Iraq and this war in Afghanistan. And the government spends a lot of money that conservatives like you support them spending.

SANTORUM: The federal government back in 1960, 60 percent of the federal government was defense.


SANTORUM: Today...


MATTHEWS: Well, it's all the entitlement programs.

SANTORUM: Yes, today. And that is not heavy lifting to fight wars. That is heavy lifting to support programs of the left that were intended to help people, but, in many respects, they tax people to the extent where they put great stress on the American family.

MATTHEWS: The problem with that argument is that this country has been run now for many years by Republican presidents and Republican members of Congress and majorities, and nobody is eliminating programs.

SANTORUM: We-that's not true.

MATTHEWS: Your party is not-what big programs have you eliminated?

SANTORUM: Well, welfare reform. Welfare was the biggest...

MATTHEWS: Well, that was a great thing. And Clinton even backed that.

SANTORUM: Well, he did, after vetoing it twice.


SANTORUM: And-and I have quotes in this book from Charlie Rangel and from Ted Kennedy and from Pat Moynihan...


SANTORUM: ... saying, you are tearing apart, you're dismantling the basic fabric of our society. They predicted bread lines. They predicted mass poverty. And they got none of that.

They got what-what I believe commonsense solutions, which I helped author in that bill, that-that required work, which is so essential, and said to every person who is in poverty in America, we believe in you. We believe you can do better.

MATTHEWS: You have made two strong arguments here. You've argued for the advantages of women who stay home and take care of children and forgo professional careers that they might find more gratifying in different ways.

SANTORUM: I didn't make-I didn't make that argument.


SANTORUM: I made that society should be affirming of women who make -

· to have the choice and be affirmed in either choice they make.

MATTHEWS: But you can't speak for society. You can only speak for yourself. You find that a valuable thing to do.

SANTORUM: I find both to be valuable. And we want to affirm both.


And you have also come out against some tough-for some tough cuts in domestic programs in this country, right, just now. You think we are wasting some federal money.

SANTORUM: Well, I came out...

MATTHEWS: In other words, if you're going to cut taxes, you've got to cut the programs.

SANTORUM: Yes. Look, I have come out and, as you know, I have been very-I have a fiscal hawk since I have been here. And I...

MATTHEWS: It's tough, because you represent a state that is aging. Pennsylvania has one of the oldest populations in the country. They do require Medicare, Social Security, a lot of social programs.


MATTHEWS: They like SSI, like all that stuff. And for you to be a conservative from that state is tough, isn't it?

SANTORUM: Yes. And, look, I have been very forthright. I voted for the reductions in the Medicare program that the president put forth.

MATTHEWS: Well, you're a courageous guy.

We are going to talk about your reelection when we get right back.


MATTHEWS: Because you have stuck out on some very tough positions here, Senator Rick Santorum. You are the genuine article.

And later, TV producer Steven Bochco, who created "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue," will be here to talk about his new show. I shouldn't call it a show, his program about the war in Iraq. It's called "Over There." It is a real show and it's apparently not political.

You're watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.


MATTHEWS: Coming up, Hillary Clinton says it takes a village to raise a child. Rick Santorum says it takes a family. Much more with the Pennsylvania Republican senator when HARDBALL returns.


MATTHEWS: We are back on HARDBALL with Senator Rick Santorum, author of the book "It Takes a Family." Don't be confused with "It Takes a Village."

You are not Hillary Clinton, are you?

SANTORUM: Don't be confused.

MATTHEWS: You are not Hillary Clinton.

SANTORUM: She wasn't confused.


MATTHEWS: You're a conservative in Pennsylvania, a state that is sort of a purple state, somewhere between red and blue, right?

SANTORUM: That's right.

MATTHEWS: You are up against Bob Casey, the son of the former governor.


MATTHEWS: The treasurer of the state right now. He is ahead of you in the polls. I looked a new poll, the Quinnipiac, 50-39. You are 39. He is 50. Another poll, a Franklin & Marshall, a state university out there in Pennsylvania Casey, 44, Santorum, 37.

What is the real number right now?

SANTORUM: Oh, I don't-I don't think it really much matters.

I mean, what matters-the numbers that matter to me is, you know, how we are organizing the state, the work I am doing as a United States senator. And that is what I am focused on right now.

MATTHEWS: Can you carry-I know you have a strong personality and you are the genuine article. You are what you say you are. You have got to carry the load of the war. And it's not getting more popular. You've got to carry the president's privatization plan for Social Security. You have got to carry whatever goes on with the economy. And Pennsylvania has been deindustrializing for years now. That is a lot of load to carry into a sixth year of a presidency, isn't it?

SANTORUM: Well, I-I have, I think, a great record of supporting reindustrialization or facilitating a lot of growth in Pennsylvania. I have got a lot to point to of things, of legislation I've had passed there, of work that I've done in the local communities, and working with people like Ed Rendell and...

MATTHEWS: The governor.

SANTORUM: And the governor, and Dan Onorato, who is the county executive of-in the Pittsburgh area, and many, many others across Pennsylvania to make a difference in the communities.

And that record is not going to be lost on a lot of folks who know that having someone in their third term here who is, I think, will be the number two leader in the United States Senate, is not a bad thing to have in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a state that is going through difficult times. You want someone in Washington who can make a difference, who can get things done and deliver for your state. And I think I'm going to be able to show very explicitly that we have been able to accomplish that.

MATTHEWS: Are you going to debate a lot against Bob Casey in this next-because I think it is the most exciting race in the country.

SANTORUM: Would you like to have us on here to debate? I would...


MATTHEWS: I would love to get you both...

SANTORUM: Let's do it.

MATTHEWS: ... as it gets closer. We'll do it a couple times.

SANTORUM: I accept.

MATTHEWS: You accept?

SANTORUM: I accept.

MATTHEWS: Well, I am going to talk to the producers, the executive producer, especially, and see if we can get an invitation to both you guys. We'll do it.

SANTORUM: I would love to do it.

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you this.

I have always thought that Pennsylvania was the most interesting state, and not just because I am from there, because it is a real-a blue-collar state in many ways. It's Catholic. It's Protestant. It's Jewish. It's a very interesting mix of people.


MATTHEWS: And it is a purple state. It's somewhere in the middle.

Can Hillary Clinton carry Pennsylvania? Because I think she has got a problem there. And if she could carry it, she might be in business for the presidency. But I'm not so sure.


MATTHEWS: Bob Casey Sr. once said, it is a John Wayne state, not a Jane Fonda state.

SANTORUM: Yes. It's not a Jane Fonda state, by any stretch of the imagination.

You know, President Bush had trouble carrying the state. I think a lot of it, you know, candidly, was just the whole Texas issue. It just didn't play well in the Eastern part of the state.


SANTORUM: Depending on who our nominee is, you know, if our nominee -

· I think our nominee, if they are in-clearly in the mainstream of the Republican Party, I think we carry that easily vs. Hillary Clinton.

MATTHEWS: Are you proud and happy of the way that the Schiavo case was handled by you and a few other senators intervening in that matter down in Florida? Because the polls didn't like it.

SANTORUM: Yes. I did.

I mean, I-look, I stood up and said that, when the state government, through the courts, takes the life of an individual, the federal government should have, the federal courts should review whether that person's constitutional rights, federal constitutional rights, have been respected. That is all I said. That is all I wanted. And I don't think that is unreasonable.

We give it to convicted murderers. We should give it to people who can't-just-whose only crime, if you will, is that they didn't leave a living will.

MATTHEWS: OK, thank you very much, Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

SANTORUM: Thank you.


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